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Verizon Government Wireless Networking

FCC Rules That Verizon Cannot Charge For 4G Tethering 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-there-was-much-rejoicing dept.
schleprock63 writes "The FCC ruled today that Verizon cannot charge extra for users for 4G Wi-Fi tethering. The FCC used the original agreement in the auction of the C block spectrum which said 'licensees offering service on C Block spectrum "shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network, subject to narrow exceptions."' So Verizon cannot charge for tethering on 4G service, this raises the question of whether they can continue to charge for tethering on 3G or 1x?"
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FCC Rules That Verizon Cannot Charge For 4G Tethering

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:04PM (#40835101)
    Obviously, Wall Street is not too worried about this. They're trying to move everyone to bundled data packages anyway.
  • by yakatz (1176317) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:11PM (#40835213) Homepage Journal

    I don't see why this won't apply to 3G or any other type of tethering either, since it's all the same.

    Because the issue is in which part of the wireless spectrum they are using. As far as I can tell, this ruling only applies to the new C Block spectrum, not the parts of the spectrum they used to have.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:16PM (#40835271) Homepage Journal

    I don't see why this won't apply to 3G or any other type of tethering either, since it's all the same.

    Because the issue is in which part of the wireless spectrum they are using. As far as I can tell, this ruling only applies to the new C Block spectrum, not the parts of the spectrum they used to have.

    Exactly. This was the feature that Google basically spent $4B on a few years ago. The spectrum for LTE went to carriers specifically with the requirement that they follow "net neutrality" style rules on usage; no blocking or "channeling" certain features according to service.

  • Re:Too late... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bonker (243350) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:16PM (#40835275)

    Wait... You're leaving Verizon because they've treated you like complete crap and are going to either Sprint or ATT?

    I mean, let's completely ignore for the moment how Apple treats their customers. Sprint or ATT? You SERIOUSLY think either of these guys will treat you better than Verizon?

  • Re:Verizon only (Score:5, Informative)

    by pscottdv (676889) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:19PM (#40835311)

    T-Mobile lets me tether for no additional cost. In fact, tethering came preinstalled on my phone.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:31PM (#40835461) Journal

    Correct. However the conclusion you've implied is not correct.

    THIS is an administrative ruling, having the full force of law. It remains "law" until overruled by a court. The result is, that it is a law, until proven in a court to be otherwise.

    Further, your implication is fairly short sighted, in that you assume something isn't a law (or acts like a law) unless a court rules on it. The fact is, most laws (and administrative rulings) are lawful until someone challenges it in a court.

    THIS was an administrative hearing which FUNCTIONS much like a court for most intents and purposes. Therefore the ONLY recourse left to VZ is an actual court. And having already been ruled on by an Administrative hearing, the hurdle is much much higher for VZ than normal court case

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:31PM (#40835465)

    Important note: BID $4B on, but did not win, so spent nothing.

  • by PsyciatricHelp (951182) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @07:17PM (#40835943)

    So Verizon cannot charge for tethering on 4G service, this raises the question of whether they can continue to charge for tethering on 3G or 1x?

    Your answer lies in those "narrow exceptions".

    Its a regulation on the bandwidth block used for 4g. not the range for 3g. different frequencies, different rules.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @08:50PM (#40836713) Journal

    Verizon didn't deny any device access - they just charged for each device, something which wasn't denied by the rules.

    But the did not just "charge for each device", they added an extra charge for devices that were not connected to their network

    If people hadn't gotten greedy, violated their contracts,

    But that's the point of the ruling: Verizon wasn't allowed to put those limitation in their contracts. According to you, only Verizon's customers have to abide by contract terms, while Verizon itself doesn't have to abide by contract terms it agreed with the FCC

    "shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network, subject to narrow exceptions."'

    The restriction which Verizon agreed to was they would not limit or restrict " the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice". Clearly, retricting tethering is limiting the ability of their customers to use the applications of their choice.

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